The Quantifiable Realm (And Whatever Else There Is)

What is the quantifiable realm? It’s the realm of science, its the realm of measurement, its the realm of cause and effect, its what we see with our eyes. It is really the opaque plane that our eyes can see and measure, that our ears and senses can observe. I include in this definition all words and thoughts that are explained or can be spoken in words. If it can be written on a piece of paper it’s in the quantifiable realm. lots of thinking can be written including what you are reading now. Thus ALL OF THIS, is in the understandable or quantifiable realm.

Now the question immediately becomes, Is there anything BUT the quantifiable realm? Is there really anything else that exists outside of this realm? From a purely scientific standpoint no. Because the actual agreed definition of Science is: The intellectual and practical activity encompassing the systematic study of the structure and behavior of the physical and natural world through observation and experiment.  As to the question; is there anything else? I would answer that question with another question. What is love? Is love real? if so what is it? Any words used to try and totally encompass what is meant when I write the words “I Love You” or when these vocal chords in my throat vibrate and my mouth moves and this audible sound comes out…. “I Love You” There is still something huge missing from just the words. Something that can’t actually be said in words alone. I can use a thousand or a million words and still not actually create the entire experience of what ever love is. There is a poem by Walt Whitman Called “When I Heard The Learned Astronomer” Here it is:

When I heard the learn’d astronomer,

When the proofs, the figures, were ranged in columns before me,

When I was shown the charts and diagrams, to add, divide,

   and measure them,

When I sitting heard the astronomer where he lectured with

   much applause in the lecture-room,

How soon unaccountable I became tired and sick,

Till rising and gliding out I wander’d off by myself,

In the mystical moist night-air, and from time to time,

Look’d up in perfect silence at the stars.

The perfect silence referred to at the end of the poem is the unspeakable thing that can’t be put in words. Its the world that exists outside of the quantifiable realm entirely. Thou I will make no attempt to explain what it is I am willing to bet that there is a reason that EVERYONE knows what is referred to in the words “perfect silence.”

Not only is there something that exists outside of the quantifiable realm. This place that we can’t explain is the same one that contains EVERYTHING that actually matters for the human experience. Love, Human connection, Life its self, unspeakable peace in nature, Friendship, God/Creator, Faith. It’s art, music, dance, so unexplainable and yet so clearly filled with life. Almost everything we hold dearest exists outside of the quantifiable world. This may be because everything in the quantifiable realm is subject to destruction, and change. The body, your thoughts, your thought process, your words, even your personality and the beliefs that you have about yourself are subject to being destroyed and or changed. If you can put a concept into words it’s not eternal and It will change form eventually. This can be a VERY confronting realization or it can be the most liberating and freeing, peaceful realization. It all depends on how seriously you take yourself. At the end though, all humans will be confronted with the hilarious, ironic, understanding that the moment we were born we were given a guarantee of death. One thing that we can say for sure that is scientific, is that the quantifiable realm has a beginning and an end as far as an individual is concerned. We can see a body emerge from the womb and then be buried in the grave and without question when a living human sees the dead body of one they knew alive, he can see, and we can all collectedly agree, that there was life there, and now it’s not there any more.

What is this life that we can experience in totality but completely fail to explain or quantify? What does science really know about life? Not the form that life takes, not biology. I am asking what does science really know about the life that occupies the body at one moment and is gone the next?

1 thought on “The Quantifiable Realm (And Whatever Else There Is)”

  1. This reminded me of the poem The Dash by Linda Ellis. It was read at my cousin’s funeral. It gives the date of birth and date of death. Everything in between is a dash. My cousin’s life, like the person in the poem life was represented by a dash. How do you describe life in a dash… In perfect silence.

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